“This is #177 in the New Vanguard Series which explores the design, development, operation and history of the machinery of warfare through the ages.”
So says the tag line of Osprey’s advertising copy, and it is a fair description of the contents of this volume. The author, Richard Doherty, has a number of books to his credit, the most notable of which are about the reconnaissance corps which used the Humber car during the Second World War.
The Humber Light Reconnaissance Car (LRC) was borne from desperation after the battles in France and was the eventual winner of the design competition, some 2,400 being completed of the 4 marks (Mk I Ironside, Mk II, Mk III, and Mk IIIA) in total. The LRC, while the most widely used recon car in the British army, never really realized its full potential as Montgomery did not believe in its use and therefore in North Africa, where the opportunity for employment was greatest, its use was restricted to Tunisia in the latter part of that campaign.
The development is very well covered in the book, and the various marks are described in great detail. Weapons configurations, non-standard installations, engines – all and more are done up very well and the photo illustrations are everything a modeler could want. Every square inch of the car is available in a picture, with the possible exception of the undercarriage. Very good descriptions of the Bren gun and Boyce rifle are to be found as well, and there are included towards the back some ripping descriptions of the LRC in action in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, and France. Plus an account of a car mounting a 20 mm cannon salvaged from a crashed Spitfire.
The illustrations are keyed to the modeler, and show some cars well worth modeling. With the relatively new release in 1/35 of 2 different LRCs by Bronco, the photos would be a necessity for construction or conversion. The LRC was modified for a few very special missions, and the book provides more than enough descriptive and photo coverage to convert a standard model to one of those. I have my eye on a conversion to one of the 6 cars modified to carry the Royal Family, and there is one nice photo of Queen Elizabeth (the current Queen’s Mum) alighting from one in London. What a piece for the next contest or show n’ tell!
I am a dedicated out-of-the boxer, but this book has opened my eyes to the possibilities really good reference material open up when you’re finally ready to start building a model and this is really good reference material! At 48 pages, it is a good read, with all the info one needs to understand the purpose and use of the car, and the photos are priceless for the modeler.
My thanks to Osprey and IPMS for this very enjoyable opportunity. And now I have to buy the model!
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